Ten undergraduate students will gain valuable research experience and mentorship this year through the Guam NSF EPSCoR Student Research Experience. The students, most of whom had never participated in a STEM research program were welcomed to the program during a meet-and-greet session on Dec. 17, 2021.
The program is designed to increase the number and diversity of students, particularly from Pacific Islands, who choose STEM careers by giving them the skills and confidence needed for academic and career development.
Each academic year, undergraduate students from the University of Guam and the Guam Community College are selected to participate in the year-long program and choose a research project, collect data, and then prepare a research paper and presentation of their findings.
Depending on student interest, training in molecular laboratory skills such as DNA extractions, polymerase-chain reaction, DNA sequencing and analyses may be part of the internship.
“I’m excited to experience more hands-on work. Because of COVID, labs closed and that made it difficult to learn these skills,” said Lynn Galang, a UOG undergraduate integrative biology student. “I’m just excited to get more experience.”
Over the course of the program, Galang will be mentored by Sarah Lemer, a UOG assistant professor of marine invertebrate genomics in the Marine Laboratory.
As part of the internship, the students will participate in near-peer mentorship programs that will allow them to interact with high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who are a part of Guam NSF EPSCoR and with the NSF INCLUDES: SEAS Islands Alliance program.
“This program is like a year-long interview, said Cheryl Sangueza, a UOG Associate Professor of Education and the Guam NSF EPSCoR Student Program Coordinator. “It opens the door to opportunities off-island like conferences and other research experiences.”
For more information about the Guam NSF EPSCoR Student Research Experience, visit https://guamepscor.uog.edu/sre/.